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Permanent link to archive for Sunday, May 05, 2002. Sunday, May 05, 2002

The NY Times picks up the Dallas Morning News deep linking story. And they found a weblog angle, noting that Belo, the owner of the DMN also owns the Providence Journal, where Shelia Lennon runs a weblog. Weblogs do a lot of deep linking. Nice! 

Reminds me of a story we broke here when the RIAA was trying to sue Napster out of existence. At the time the AOL-Time-Warner merger was still pending. We found that a division of AOL was running a search engine that was just as good at finding MP3s as Napster was. Time-Warner is part of the RIAA. After reporting it here, it went to Upside, and then to the WSJ, and the search engine went off the air. It must be hard being a BigCo and having a philosophical battle both in court and internally. 

CableWorld interviewed Jamie Kellner, CEO of Turner Broadcasting. They asked "What if you have to go to the bathroom or get up to get a Coke?" Kellner gave them a straight answer. Their system does depend on people watching the commercials. 

Phillip Pearson: How Radio talks to a Community Server

NY Times: "Spider-Man, which opened in theaters last Friday, shattered the box-office record for any opening weekend, taking in an estimated $114 million. That far exceeded the previous record of $90 million set last fall by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."  

Why I love referer logs. I have the number two hit on Google for Michael Eisner. Tim O'Reilly has number one. 

Dear Reader: "If you are reading this column in the newspaper, but did not read every article and look at every advertisement in previous sections, stop now. You must go back and look at all of that material before continuing with this column." 

News.Com says that Sony's promotions on the Web created the buzz for Spider-Man, but I went to see it last night because the outage had cleared, and lots of my friends on the Web had seen it and gave it positive reviews. 

Reuters: Exit Polls Show Big Win for Chirac in France

More discussion of centralization in blogging tools. 

On this day five years ago: "Man I love this planet!" 

Another NY Times piece on weblogs, this time in the Books section. The author, as usual, is looking at a slice of the weblog world and drawing global conclusions. If I could do a sit-down with all the Times reporters and talk to them for a half-hour, I'd talk about the scientific method. They need to tune into that. Here's a quote. "Numerically speaking, blogs pose no threat to 'the media,'' however liberal or conservative. If blogs steal readers, it is from political magazines, themselves so minuscule compared with mainstream outlets that their importance is more psychological than quantifiable." She's reading Andrew Sullivan and the warblogs, and maybe a few others. Oy. 

Tomorrow or later today I'm going to write a piece about the role software magazines used to play and can play again, whether they are done formally by the print world, at IDG or what used to be Ziff-Davis (where is it now) or where ever. They used to run reviews of categories of software. At its peak, Michael Miller's InfoWorld had formal per-category reviewer guidelines. These reviews provided structure to competition. When done thoughtfully by people who cared about the categories they were covering, they helped everyone compete, and helped software move forward. We got one of those kinds of reviews on Friday, in WebMonkey's survey of weblog tools. I've already read the review three times, and I'll read it three more times. All of a sudden I have a much better idea of what my competition is doing and of course they have a better idea of what I'm doing. Ms Shulevitz and others (like JD Lasica) argue against a point that I don't make. I say if the pros won't do it, let's do it for ourselves. That doesn't say they can't do it. But in technology, the confusion of the dotcom years left a wrecked landscape, not just in the industry, but in journalism too. If we want to move forward, let's move forward. I welcome the WebMoneky survey. To get back on track, they should do it again in six months after the market reshapes because of their review. And again and again. We're lucky we have a category that's moving. That can be a bootstrap for more movement in more categories. For the last few years the pros just wrote about battles to the death. A category-level review celebrates competition. A big difference in philosophy. 

When East Broadway Ron updates I check it out and am never disappointed. Amateur journalism at its best. Dogma 2000 all the way. He takes me to my old neighborhood, New York City. He's right, I did ride the D train to the Bronx every day (except on days that I took the Q44 bus over the Whitestone Bridge to West Farm Square).  

Another argument you hear in favor of the pros is that they do deep research that the amateurs can't. I don't buy this defense, and again ask why are they being so defensive. I don't buy it because if someone spends a life in New York City with a camera and an inquisitive eye, how does that not qualify as deep research? Another flaw in the dotcom philosophy was that it's all about young people. Ah ah. It's about middle-aged people too. If you've got some time on your hands, and some ideas you want to express, the Web is open to you, and it's getting more open all the time. No it's not about money. There's a pleasure that comes from making your point and being heard, and you'd pay money for that, why not, there are so few things that you can pay for that bring pleasure. The disconnect is deeper. We pay money to sit in a theater and watch marvels of technology and shallow pictures of human beings. Turn it around. Why not pay money to reveal real beauty that you see everywhere except in TV and movies. 

Dave's Spiderman review 

I saw Spiderman last night. Best moment of the movie comes midway through. I lean over to young Patrick Scoble and ask if he likes the movie. He shrugs his shoulders. I lean over and whisper in his ear (in a loud enough voice for his father and our neighbors to hear.) "You're a baaaad kid!" Everyone laughs.

Anyway, the movie had its moments of exhiliration where I had to breathe deeply to calm down. I'm totally afraid of heights.

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Suspension of disbelief: 3.

Use of technology for special effects: 7.

Acting: 3.

Thrills: 5.

Story: 3.

Sex: 1. (Kiss her already, loser!)

It's a Hollywoodized Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which was a better movie, I would go see CT again before seeing Spiderman.

Control freaks 

If you buy a copy of our software, you get our thanks. But you don't get control of what I say on this site.

Think about it this way -- suppose I buy an ad in the NY Times. Do I have an issue with them if they write something that's critical of me? Of course not.

So lighten up guys, enjoy life more, and don't bother fighting battles that you can't win. Make a contribution, do something positive, switch products if you want, but don't try to control what I say. It won't work.

Outage watch 

Today we'll be watching for recurring outages, regrouping, planning out next week.

We basically lost a week at UserLand. We want to get back in the saddle, but first let's make sure the problems are behind us.


Last update: Sunday, May 05, 2002 at 6:04 PM Eastern.

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